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Microsoft’s Craig Dewar on Engagement through Community at Forrester Marketing Forum

Microsoft's Craig Dewar - Forrrester Marketing Forum #fmf09

Craig Dewar is passionate, but he didn’t come off as the angry Kiwi that he looks like here

Presenter: Craig Dewar, who heads up community marketing for Microsoft Business Solutions

One to one engagement is key.

Microsoft community examples:

Xbox Live; Entered gaming market in 2000. Sony had shipped 20 million PlayStations. Xbox Live was built in from day one, and it drove the success of the product. 60 million units of all Xbox consoles, 17 million users on Live, 1.5 million users online. Community was key business strategy.

Channel 9: Developers are lifeblood of Microsoft. Developers were getting irked around 2000. Created a community and dialogue. Transparency, dialogue matter.

Microsoft Dynamics Community: community.dynamics.com – ERP, CRM software. 10000 people attended event. MSFT sells through partners so no direct relationship with end user of product. Wanted direct engagement. Knew end users cared about: Learning, Networking, Support, Feedback.

Lessons learned:

  • Even if you build it, they may not come. You have to have the right value proposition. Awareness is issue. Discoverability is key.
  • Critical mass is hard and will take longer than you think. 6 months after launching, less than 2,000 registered users. Not enough people to sustain dialogue. 1-10% of people will create/contribute to content. 10-15% will comment. The rest won’t do more than read it. 2,000 users wasn’t critical mass. Dewar spent an hour every day answering users’ questions. Motto: “no question will be unanswered”.

:Lessons applied:

  • Reach: Built Community Connection directly into the product.
  • Relevance: Making sure businesspeople think of them as a place to ask questions
  • Referral: build something in to make it easy for others to participate


Microsoft Developer Network - Measuring Results - Forrester Marketing Forum 2009


Craig Dewar of Microsoft at Forrester Marketing Forum

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Comments to: Microsoft’s Craig Dewar on Engagement through Community at Forrester Marketing Forum
  • Avatar
    April 24, 2009

    Hey David,
    Was hoping you grabbed this photo. Very simple, yet powerful framework.

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2009

    Great to see someone actually live blogging an event – it almost seems “old school” given the chatter most days via twtter instead. Personally, I like this better for content, pics, vids, etc..
    In terms of lessons learned, has the importance of “adaptation” come up under lessons learned? You can plan all you want, cover all your bases, but one of the lessons learned for me in terms of building community is simple adaptation.
    For example, you may deploy a twitter account, do everything right, but find later that to reach your audience you may need to adapt twitter badges across your social web to ensure the conversation is easily found beyond the “tweetisphere”
    Make sense?
    Regardless, keep up the great work.

  • Avatar
    April 24, 2009

    Totally makes sense, Mark. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on it. I feel
    like this has been touched on but it hasn’t come up as directly. One reason
    perhaps is that there’s been so much talk of strategy over tactics, and the
    strategy tends to accommodate being where the consumers are – perhaps best
    expressed by Annis from Coca-Cola North America who was OBSESSED with
    driving this point home. But I am curious if it comes up more explicitly.
    David Card also discussed it a bit in showing some social media marketing
    blunders, all from companies he says have a generally positive track record
    with social media today. In that sense, they’ve all had to adapt.
    Glad you enjoy the blogging. I see Twitter as great for live updates, but
    it’s far less permanent and coherent. I hope to see some other blog recaps
    after the forum wraps, as I’ll link to any such content out there (including
    Flickr photos, YouTube vids – anything).


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